UFC strawweight Paige VanZant revealed that Ken Shamrock was her head coach and a "big support" in the early portion of her career.
Paige VanZant may be too young to legally take part in The Ultimate Fighter but she was not too young to learn leglock from UFC heavyweight Ken Shamrock at an earlier age at the Lion's Den.
The Nevada native, who is one of the women signed to the UFC's newly created stawweight division, may train out of Team Alpha Male the majority of the time, but she credits Shamrock for being a "big support" during the early portion of her career.
"He was there the whole time. He was our head coach so it was really awesome. I had a few boxing fights before I did MMA and he went to all of them. He was a really, really big support for the first part of my career. I am still in touch with his family.
VanZant's decision to go to Shamrock's gym was purely based on the fact that her dad was a fan of his fights. Once she spent a while at the gym she realized that she really enjoyed "punching people in the face."
"He [my dad] was a huge fan of Ken Shamrock, so when we went out to Reno and he wanted me to a gym, I ended up falling in love with it. Ken [Shamrock] said I had a lot of potential, and I ended up just really liking punching people in the face."
When asked whether Shamrock was a better coach in real life than he was on The Ultimate Fighter, VanZant avoided a direct response by politely replying: "I really learned a lot of leg locks; that's what I'll take from it."